Ask Leo! #477 – Holiday Issue – The Top 10 of 2013

NOTE: Today's issue is a special edition prepared prior to the holidays so that Leo and his staff could have some time off. We'll return to our normal publication schedule with issue #478 on the January 14th, 2014.

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2013's Ten Most Popular Posts

This year marked a bit of transition for Ask Leo! as we began a technology switch from Movable Type to Wordpress. As a result, the numbers may not be quite as accurate as in years past (a page that was moved from one to the other might not be appropriately represented), but the overall standings are interesting nonetheless.

Top 10

In descending order, by number of unique page views:

10. Can I move my old computer’s hard drive to my new computer? - Apparently, people are getting new computers and wondering how best to transfer things over. This is one of those "Yes, you can, but you can't really do exactly what you want" kind of answers.

9. What are .iso files, and how do I open them? - As software distribution packages get larger and more and more software distribution happens over the internet, people are often left with .iso files, and a feeling of "OK, now what?"

8. Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW - Honestly, I wish this were the #1 article. It's a resource for anyone who discovers their accounts have been hacked. I'm sure that's why it's as high as it is, but it also serves as a warning and lesson for those yet-to-be hacked.

7.  How do I fix this high CPU usage svchost virus or whatever it is? - This is a relatively old article (2007) that's in need of an update. It became popular once again due to a bug that resurfaced that causes Windows Update - running in svchost.exe - to spin and use up all of the CPU.

6. How do I print an email in (formerly Hotmail)? This was the year of the new user interface. One of the most persistent (and inconsistent) problems that people faced was very basic: how to find the hidden Print option in the new user interface.

5. What Security software do you recommend? - This one was in part because I point so many people at it. Many are simply confused by the wide variety of security software solutions that are out there. My recommendation, which has remained basically unchanged for some time, is one solution to the confusion.

4. Where is my Outlook “PST” file located? - This is another of those articles that, while updated this year, has remained fairly consistently popular since it was first written in 2006.

3. Someone’s sending from my email address! How do I stop them?! - This article felt like the most popular, as it covers a topic that was consistently one of the most asked about all year long: email account theft. Email hacking remained a rampant problem throughout 2013.

2.  My Taskbar is missing and I have no Start button. What do I do? - Updated this year as its popularity was becoming apparent, I believe this article surged in part due to a rise in malware of various flavors that cause Explorer.exe itself to crash, resulting in the taskbar disappearing.

And the most popular article for 2013 is:

1. How do I recover my Facebook login password? - Yep, at Ask Leo! Facebook is the new Hotmail. Millions of people are on Facebook and either getting their accounts hacked or simply forgetting their passwords.


The more things change, it seems the more that they stay the same.

The number one topic revolves around lost passwords, account theft, hacking, and attempts to recover. The specific services may have changed, but the concept of a lost password remains the most common issue - not only in the articles that people visit, but in the questions and comments that I get as well.

To take that specific topic and broaden it a bit more, I'd say that the single most discussed topic (and arguably the most important) is security. Be it account loss, data loss, or machine compromise, issues relating to security probably drive more people to look for help online than any other (excepting perhaps very specific hardware problems).

As a result, the article that I truly wish were the number one on Ask Leo! is this one:  Internet safety: 8 steps to keeping your computer safe on the internet.

Spread the word and tell your friends.

Here's to a problem free and secure 2014.

For related links and an opportunity to comment on this article, please visit 2013's Ten Most Popular Posts out at Ask Leo!.

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*** Thoughts and Comments

Once again, if I set all the right switches and pushed all the right buttons, this issue of the newsletter will be heading your way on January 7th. By now the "ask-a-question" form will have re-opened (including the subscriber-only form mentioned only in the emailed copies of the newsletter, down below).

Hopefully all those new Christmas gadgets are working and technology isn't frustrating you too much. Smile

If it is, of course, hopefully Ask Leo! can help...

Leo A. Notenboom
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Posted: January 7, 2014 in: 2014
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